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Children's LiteratureThis delightful novel takes place during World War II in England and follows Sorrel, Mark, and Holly, three siblings who are sent to live with a grandmother they have never met. They discover that their mother, who died when they were very young, was once a successful actress and came from a well-known acting family. Their grandmother, a famous English actress herself, enrolls the children in the Children's Academy of Dancing and Stage Training. The children are uncertain at first about their new schooling and lifestyle, but they each develop an appreciation for the arts and discover talents they never knew they had. The effects of the war are a quiet but present part of the background of this story. The grandmother's house stands in the midst of others that have been evacuated and damaged by bombs. Rations and coupons and black-outs are so much a part of the everyday life that they don't seem exceptional to the characters, but make this an exceptional story and a good introduction to what everyday life was like for some families during wartime. 2003 (orig. 1945), Random House, Ages 8 to 12.
— Jennifer Chambliss